Children, fathers and war – words not often used together. In The Hidden Legacy of World War II: A Daughter’s Journey of Discovery, Carol Schultz Vento weaves life with her paratrooper father into the larger narrative of World War II and the homecoming of the Greatest Generation.
82nd Airborne paratrooper Arthur ‘Dutch’ Schultz’s battle experiences have been presented to America both in film in the acclaimed D-Day movie, The Longest Day, and in a multitude of war history books, including those by Stephen Ambrose. The Hidden Legacy presents an expanded view of the reality of Dutch’s war in Europe by utilizing archival history of noted authors who interviewed him.
This nonfiction work also illuminates a part of post World War II life that has seldom been acknowledged – how the war trauma of the combat veteran impacted his children. While this is a personal story of one combat veteran and his family, the book presents well researched material documenting the prevalence of psychiatric trauma in World War II veterans, and describes how lobotomy and shock therapy were common treatments in VA hospitals during the nineteen forties and fifties.
The Greatest Generation narrative has seldom included the unheralded battles waged by many veterans to regain normalcy. This account demonstrates the persistence of combat trauma, even in veterans of the “Good War” who returned home victorious. The Hidden Legacy of World War II is relevant to issues America faces today with the homecoming of another generation scarred by combat.